More than 250 affordable housing units to soon be available in east Charlotte

CHARLOTTE — More affordable housing units are about to be available in east Charlotte.

On Tuesday, the Housing Impact Fund, in partnership with Ascent Housing, announced the purchase of Shamrock Gardens Apartments, a 265-unit property off Eastway Drive in Charlotte’s Shannon Park neighborhood.

Shamrock Gardens is the Fund’s fourth property acquisition in just over a year and marks a year-in milestone of more than 500 converted affordable housing units to address housing insecurity and facilitate economic opportunity in Charlotte, according to a release.

>> For more information on the Housing Impact Fund, click here.

For the last two and a half years, Shronda McDonald has called Shamrock Gardens home, mostly because the $600-a-month rent is all she can afford.

“Once the pandemic came, you know jobs were short. You know, but I still made it,” she said.

That release went on to say the Fund plans to invest $7 million in property improvements at Shamrock Gardens to restore the nearly 60-year-old complex.

“It does need a little upgrade but once they do that, it will be beautiful,” McDonald said.

The Charlotte region has seen an average rent increase of nearly 17% since September 2020, according to CoStar.

All apartments at Shamrock Gardens will be reserved for households earning less than 80% of Charlotte’s Area Median Income, and nearly half of the units will be dedicated to those below 50% AMI, the release said, adding that no current residents will be displaced from the acquisition.

The Housing Impact Fund was created in October 2020 with $58 million invested by a number of socially-minded people and corporations to preserve affordable apartment communities, particularly those under threat of being torn down or converted into more expensive housing.

“It’s one thing to set an inanimate goal of affordable housing units converted, but it’s quite another to see tangible transformational change in action,” said Nelson Schwab III and Erskine Bowles, co-managing members of the Housing Impact Fund. “The dignity that comes with living in a place you are proud to call home cannot be quantified.”

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Charlotte-based Truist Financial remains the Housing Impact Fund’s largest investor, with a $15 million commitment announced last year.

Atrium Health, LendingTree and Movement Mortgage have also been key supporters of The Fund, investing with Truist and additional private and corporate investors a combined $38 million. The Fund also benefits from a $20 million commitment from the Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund (CHOIF), a private-sector housing investment fund launched by the Foundation For The Carolinas and managed by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national nonprofit with a local office.

The City of Charlotte estimates a current shortage of nearly 32,000 affordable housing units throughout the city, and more than 3,200 individuals experiencing homelessness, according to the release.

“We know that the path toward ensuring that our city’s housing needs are met will be long and encumbered by many challenges, but we will continue to work until all of our neighbors have access to housing, health care, jobs and education,” said Movement Mortgage Chief Executive Officer Casey Crawford. “The steps we have taken as a community to research, fund and implement affordable housing solutions speak to Charlotte’s culture of caring for its people and align directly with Movement’s mission to love and value people and communities across America.”

Sitting just outside the centers of Plaza Midwood and NoDa, Shamrock Gardens will serve as a community complement to the Fund’s two other east Charlotte properties, Maple Way and Pines on Wendover. The Fund also owns and operates Lake Mist, a 144-unit complex located off Archdale Drive in south Charlotte.

Eventually, The Atrium Health Foundation will also provide a full-time health worker to offer programs, financial literacy and workforce development for residents there.

(WATCH BELOW: New NEST Commission aims to help solve Charlotte’s affordable housing crisis)

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